In the nine months since June 2008, the value of Sterling has dropped nearly 19% against the Ringgit. This means that assets such as property in the UK are now more affordable to overseas buyers and represent a significant opportunity for Malaysian investors. One London developer, St George PLC, has noted a surge in interest from astute Malaysian investors and responded by exhibiting two of its most exciting developments in Kuala Lumpur and Penang on the 21st April.
One investor to have taken action on the back of the current economic situation is Mrs Naseem Allibhai. Naseem works as a consultant for a global property investment company which has built up a substantial portfolio, and recently acquired fifteen apartments at St George Wharf. She states that a major attraction for international buyers is being able to finance their purchases in foreign currency against the weakening pound: “For buyers whose finance is linked to a stronger currency, their repayments will reduce as the value of Sterling drops”.
Naseem continues, “Add to this the fact they are not liable for capital gains tax on the capital growth, and you can see why investors are returning to the market. At St George Wharf, international investors are securing properties today for their children’s further education in the UK, whilst in the interim, they reduce the debt by letting the properties out to blue chip executives on an investment that will appreciate.”
St George Wharf is one of London’s most central riverside developments and provides spectacular views of the city skyline including the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. The latest release will provide 85 highly specified one and two and three bedroom apartments and represents one of the last opportunities to own a residence at this iconic address. Investors are being encouraged by the wider regeneration of the Nine Elms district and the recent news that the American Embassy is re-locating to the area, which will create demand for quality properties.
With first completions anticipated from spring/summer 2010 these stunning properties will offer contemporary living solutions with high specification and quality finishes, while some will benefit from fantastic river views. Each apartment has been thoughtfully designed to provide custom made Italian kitchens and composite stone worktops with the very latest integrated stainless steel appliances while bathrooms and en suites benefit from Villeroy and Boch sanitary ware and chrome fittings.
The second building to be launched to Malaysia will be The Tower at Battersea Reach, an award-winning mixed-use development on the south bank of the River Thames, just minute’s away from the world-famous King’s Road shopping district. The Tower is a new seventeen-storey landmark building providing 40 highly specified two and three bedroom apartments and one magnificent triplex penthouse. Each apartment will benefit from a private balcony or terrace providing stunning panoramic views of the River Thames from Putney through to Chelsea Harbour and beyond.
The Tower will have a private dedicated reception entrance with a concierge service manned at key times. The apartments have custom designed kitchens with granite surfaces and the very latest stainless steel appliances including a chilled filtered water tap, wine cooler and coffee machine. Bathrooms and en suites have Villeroy and Boch sanitary ware, feature marble walls and stone flooring together with stylish back painted specialist glass over the bath. The apartments feature comfort cooling to the bedrooms and open plan kitchen and living rooms, with under-floor heating to the bathroom and en suite, providing a controlled and relaxing atmosphere.
Both developments benefit from good transport links into central London, the City and beyond. With a limited number of one and two bedroom apartments available, strong demand at both developments is anticipated, with purchasers keen to claim their part of the riverside before it is too late. Prices start from £839,950 at Battersea Reach and £399,950 at St George Wharf where a select number of one bedroom properties also have a 6% rental guarantee to 2012, the year of the London Olympic Games.
Naseem Allibhai concludes, “St George is a proven developer and I have found that their experience of the London market is invaluable. With falling interest rates worldwide, investors will increasingly look to property rather than equity to safeguard their wealth. London property remains a safe investment in a stable economy because the demand here is so strong and will only continue to grow in response to an increasing population and events such as the 2012 Olympics.”
Julian Sedwick of Jones Lang LaSalle comments “The fundamentals of London have not changed. London still remains a global city and financial capital of the world; it’s politically stable with strong employment and a strong rental market. With so many positive reasons to invest, we are looking forward to a successful event”.